RIBLIA Caucus announces 2024 policy agenda

 

            STATE HOUSE – The Rhode Island Black, Latino, Indigenous, Asian-American and Pacific Islander Caucus (RIBLIA) today released its 2024 legislative policy agenda at a press conference in the Senate Lounge.  The caucus is chaired by Sen. Jonathon Acosta (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket) and Rep. Leonela Felix (D-Dist. 61, Pawtucket).

            “The wide variety of bills RIBLIA will be advocating for this session represents our continued commitment to lifting up the downtrodden, defending the marginalized and ensuring a fair and equitable society for all Rhode Islanders.  Times are tough for many of our fellow residents, and while there are many other bills that would enhance and support our communities, these bills that have been highlighted by the caucus will have a significant and meaningful effect on bettering the lives for so many that call Rhode Island home,” said Senator Acosta and Representative Felix.

In addition to Senator Acosta and Representative Felix, the caucus includes Rep. Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Newport, Middletown); Rep. Karen Alzate (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket, Central Falls); Rep. Jose F. Batista (D-Dist. 12, Providence); Rep. Nathan W. Biah (D-Dist. 3, Providence); Rep. Cheri L. Cruz (D-Dist. 58, Pawtucket); Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence); Rep. Joshua J. Giraldo (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls); Rep. Brianna E. Henries (D-Dist. 64, East Providence, Pawtucket); Rep. Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence); Rep. David Morales (D-Dist. 7, Providence); Rep. Ramon A. Perez (D-Dist. 13, Providence, Johnston); Rep. Enrique Sanchez (D-Dist. 9, Providence); Rep. Jennifer Stewart (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket); Sen. Robert Britto (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket); Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket); Sen. Victoria Gu (D-Dist. 38, Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly); Sen. Tiara Mack (D-Dist. 5, Providence); Sen. Ana B. Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence) and Sen. Linda L. Ujifusa (D-Dist. 11, Portsmouth, Bristol).

            RIBLIA will be focusing their attention and advocacy on the following pieces of legislation:

·         2024-S 2189, 2024-H 7304, sponsored by Sen. Mack and Rep. Stewart, requires landlords of residential properties give tenants notice of rent increase at least 90 days prior to increase and requires notice requirement for rent increases for month to month tenants who are over the age of 62 years, to 120 days.

·         2024-S 2824, 2024-H 7746, sponsored by Sen. Melissa A. Murray (D-Dist. 24, Woonsocket, North Smithfield) and Rep. Cruz, provides that landlords deposit tenant security deposits in interest bearing accounts.

·         2024-S 2417, 2024-H 7962, sponsored by Sen. Mack and Rep. Cruz,  creates a tenant bill of rights to the right to counsel, the right to habitability, the right to organize free, the right to be free from discrimination, the right to first refusal if the landlord decides to sell the property, and right to renew lease.

·         2024-S 2764, 2024-H 7967, sponsored by Sen. Murray and Rep. Stewart, updates the Homeless Bill of Rights to add rules governing encampments and includes the right to clean and sanitary conditions.

·         2024-S 2555, 2024-H 7776, sponsored by Sen. Mack and Rep. Rebecca Kislak (D-Dist. 4, Providence), would authorize the appropriation of the sum of $20 million to support the Down Payment Assistance program.

·         2024-S 2355, 2024-H 7338, sponsored by Sen. Murray and Rep. Alzate, creates an additional Rhode Island personal income surtax of 3% on taxable income over $1 million, with the existing three-bracket personal income tax structure remaining in place.

·         2024-S 2021, 2024-H 7532, sponsored by Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) and Rep. Felix, allows individuals employed in domestic service or in or about a private home to be included as an employee, for purposes of minimum wages law.

·         2024-S 2121, 2024-H 7171, sponsored by Sen. Valarie J. Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence) and Rep. Giraldo, raises temporary caregiver benefits to 12 weeks and expands eligible recipients to include siblings and grandchildren.

·         2024-S 2169, 2024-H 7678, sponsored by Sen. Meghan E. Kallman (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, Providence) and Rep. Morales, imposes a 75 cent surcharge on fares charged by rideshare companies, as well as creating an account to benefit RIPTA from the payment of sales taxes collected from rideshares.

·         2024-S 2847, 2024-H 7124, sponsored by Sen. Cano and Rep. Diaz, creates the Rhode Island Child Care Assistance Program that governs both family eligibility for the state’s child care subsidy program and the rates paid to child care providers serving families receiving a subsidy.

·         2024-S 2141, 2024-H 7211, sponsored by Sen. Quezada and Rep. Alzate, repeals the provisions of the General Laws allowing deferred deposit providers, also known as “payday lenders.”

·         2024-S 2320, 2024-H 7400, sponsored by Sen. Cano and Rep. Justine A. Caldwell (D-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich), requires free breakfast and lunches to be provided for all elementary and secondary students attending public schools.

·         2024-H 7514, sponsored by Rep. Felix, creates a new chapter for the support and access to bilingual education. Sen. Cano will be introducing the bill in the Senate.

·         2024-S 2866, 2024-H 7397, sponsored by Sen. Cano and Rep. Alzate, provides that the permanent foundation educational aid program would provide state funding for school-based mental health services pursuant to specified conditions.

·         2024-S 2100, 2024-H 7527, sponsored by Sen. Acosta and Rep. Felix, would further delineate the definitions of felony, misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor.

·         2024-S 2462, 2024-7637, sponsored by Sen. Acosta and Rep. Felix, establishes the Restrictive Housing Oversight Committee for the purpose of monitoring the use of restrictive housing (solitary confinement), as well as disciplinary and administrative confinement at the Department of Corrections.

·         2024-S 2779, 2024-H 7474, sponsored by Sen. Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown, New Shoreham) and Rep. Alzate, would propose to the voters of the state a constitutional amendment regarding eligibility to vote and to be a candidate.

·         2024-S 2281, 2024-H 7335, sponsored by Sen. Mark P. McKenney (D-Dist. 30, Warwick) and Rep. Morales, requires that the state's share to public libraries be fixed at 25% of the amount appropriated by the city or town in their budgets for fiscal year 2024, utilizing funds from the General Fund or the American Rescue Plan Act.

·         2024-S 2281, 2024-H 7386, sponsored by Sen. McKenney and Rep. Stewart, encourages and protects the freedom of public libraries to acquire materials without limitations and prohibits materials being removed from public libraries due to partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

·         2024-S 2677, 2024-H 7164, sponsored by Sen. Quezada and Rep. John J. Lombardi (D-Dist. 8, Providence), allows expungement of multiple felony convictions for nonviolent felonies 10 years after the sentence is completed.

·         2024-S 2069, 2024-H 7153, sponsored by Sen. Murray and Rep. Morales, caps the total amount that a covered person is required to pay for a covered prescription asthma inhaler to $25 per 30 day supply.

·         2024-S 2262, 2024-H 7577, sponsored by Sen. Euer and Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton), enacts the Health Care Provider Shield Bill, precluding any individual from interfering with another’s access to transgender health care services and reproductive health care services.

·         2024-S 2402, 2024-H 7887, sponsored by Sen. Ujifusa and Rep. Stewart, urges Congress to protect patients and traditional Medicare from Medicare Advantage.

·         2024-S 2195, 2024-H 7724, sponsored by Sen. Mack and Rep. Henries, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race by expanding the definition of race to include traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protected hairstyles.

The RIBLIA Caucus represents and advocates for the interests of disadvantaged people throughout the State of Rhode Island. It seeks to increase a diverse participation and representation in all levels of government. The goal is to close, and ultimately to eliminate, disparities that still exist between white and non-white Americans in every aspect of life.

 

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